The Blue Hour at Kimmeridge Bay

The Blue Hour
The Blue Hour at Kimmeridge Bay

I had another visit to Kimmeridge Bay this week only this time I organised my walk to ensure I arrived at the bay in time for sunset, intending to get some long exposure shots with a beautiful sky for a backdrop. As the poet says though, ‘The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley’! Oh, I timed it perfectly and the day had been beautiful with bright sunshine…….until it was nearly time for the sun to set, when it disappeared into a thick layer of black cloud on the horizon.

Not to be perturbed though, I took my long exposure shots anyway and just used a bit of ‘photographic license’ in the processing 🙂 ! The picture above, which I call ‘The Blue Hour’ was processed using an Adobe Lightroom preset because when I took it the light was totally flat and grey. Although I was hoping for some lovely colour, I actually quite like how it turned out, although I guess it might be a bit of a Marmite shot 🙂 !

The Wet Season
The Kimmeridge Waterfall

Now I love waterfalls but sadly, we don’t have any spectacular ones in Dorset. For most of the year, the waterfall at Kimmeridge is a mere trickle but after a wet period such as we have had recently, it comes into its own. You see, every cloud, especially rainclouds, has a silver lining 🙂 ! The waterfall was really gushing over the precipice, standing out brightly against the black Kimmeridge Shale cliffs even though the light was poor.

Kimmeridge Bay
Kimmeridge Bay and Clavell Tower

Kimmeridge is a great place to end a walk, well, nearly end a walk. You need to pay to park there so I park elsewhere, which meant that after taking my photographs, I still had a mile or two to walk and I did that in the dark because I stayed by the water’s edge sipping my hot Bovril and listening to the surf washing over the rocks until the last light had faded. The ledges that jut out into the bay are iconic and make great foregrounds in any pictures, especially if there is a glorious sunset……..which of course, as Murphy’s Law predicted there was the very next day when I was miles away 😦 !

With fishermen’s huts along the water’s edge and Clavell Tower surveying the whole scene from the top of Hen Cliff, this place has a lot going for it. The tower was built in 1830 as an observatory and folly by the Rev John Clavell who at the time resided at the nearby Smedmore House. It has four floors although originally the upper floors would have only been accessible by ladder, and it was at one time used by HM Coastguards as a lookout post until fire destroyed the interior in the 1930’s.

After that, it became derelict and in danger of complete collapse as the coast continued to  be eroded. But then the Landmark Trust came along with a rescue plan and they not only restored it but also took it apart stone by stone and moved it further away from the cliff edge. You can now stay in the tower but you’ll need to book well in advance because it is very popular, and for good reason because it is totally remote and has amazing views all down this wonderful coastline.

As I left that night, I uttered those famous words, ‘I’ll be back’ 🙂 ! It will need to be soon though because only in the winter months does the sun set in the right place.

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time,
Your friend
The Dorset Rambler

If you would like to contact me, my email address is – comments and feedback are always welcomed.

All words and pictures in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and may not be reproduced without permission.


  1. Very nice.
    Fond memories of all our stays in Clavell Tower and more to come 😊
    Such a beautiful spot.
    John & Liz

    1. Hi John and Liz, good to hear from you again. I always think of you two when I walk past the tower 🙂 I appreciated your letting me in to see the inside. Sounds like you are coming down again? Hope you are both well. Terry

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